Thursday, April 06, 2006


Disputes involving both parental and children's rights have escalated in EVERY State in the UNION in recent years.

So the legal, moral, and ethical question naturally arises: How should Federal and State laws react to these events?

Such an inquiry requires us to examine HISTORY for a reasonable and balanced legal answer. An understanding of American history would help. The journey of the Pilgrims to Massachusetts was a journey of religious conscience from the orthodoxy of Anglican England. So, too, was the journey of the Society of Friends to Pennsylvania.Harlan Fiske Stone, later to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, drew on this history when he wrote: "Both morals and sound policy require that the state should not violate the conscience of the individual. All our history gives confirmation to the view that liberty of conscience has a moral and social value which makes it worthy of preservation at the hands of the state. So deep in its significance and vital, indeed, is it to the integrity of man's moral and spiritual nature that nothing short of the self-preservation of the state should warrant its violation; and it may well be questioned whether the state which preserves its life by a settled policy of violation of the conscience of the individual will not in fact ultimately lose it by the process."

As a society, we have long recognized the truth of Stone's words, refusing even to compel the religious conscience of objectors to serve in wartime. We exempt from combat service anyone who "by reason of religious training and belief, is conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form. "Our civil rights laws prohibit discrimination" on the basis of religious belief in any employment or business situation.

So, the answer from our history and the law is fairly clear. The answer we've given to those who are conscientious objectors to war should be the same answer we give those who are conscientious objectors to abortion. The principle of liberty of conscience must be a universal one, evenly applied across all religions and all beliefs, lest the government be in the uncomfortable and untenable position of choosing among disparate religious views and determining their legitimacy. We should no more compel a pharmacist to dispense birth control if it violates his conscience than, say, compel a prison guard to participate in an execution if religious objections cause him to oppose capital punishment.

That same history also allows us to draw appropriate lines. Freedom of conscience is a shield against compulsion, not a sword for religious orthodoxy. That is the beauty of the balance struck by the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment. Those who bring their religion into the public square may not be compelled as the price of admission to abandon it.

But neither can they impose their views on others. Society may accommodate religious beliefs by, for example, not requiring a pharmacist to fill a prescription that violates his scruples. But the pharmacist may not legally then impose his beliefs by refusing to identify an alternate source for medication whose dispensation remains a lawful, and permissible activity.

To be sure, the balance is a delicate one. But it's a line we must draw faithfully if we are to remain true to our history and to the laws currently in place.

Is "Identity Politics" the politics of group-based movements?

The accepted definition of the term is: "Identity politics is the politics of group-based movements claiming to represent the interests and identity of a particular group, rather than policy issues relating to all members of the community. The group identity may be based on ethnicity, class, religion, sex, sexuality or other criteria."

Identity politics divides society into distinct political classes and declares them to be antagonistic to each other’s interests: blacks against whites, women against men, gays against heterosexuals. The focus is on the "rights" of the specific group— that is, those things the group claims to deserve and wishes to acquire by law. The "rights" are commonly based on the existence of historical oppression.

Identity politics is a sharp departure from the traditionally American ideal that rights are universal, not particular. That is, that all human beings possess the same rights, which are not determined by differences such as sex or race.

The presence of slavery in the United States into the 19th century reminds us that the ideal was not always realized, and sometimes not even closely. Nevertheless, it was the ideal of the Declaration of Independence—"all men are created equal" — toward which politics consistently moved.

The abolition of slavery said race was irrelevant to the rights an individual could claim. The enfranchisement of women said much the same thing. When Susan B. Anthony argued for women’s rights, she did not ask for special treatment, only for the full embrace of human rights. She wrote:

"We [women] have stood with the black man in the Constitution over half a century…Enfranchise him, and we are left outside with lunatics, idiots and criminals."

Identical rights under the law carries a strong presumption that all individuals share the fundamental political interest of having those rights respected. Consider freedom of speech. If not protected "freedom of speech" is converted from a Constitutional backed human right into a tool of oppression that must be blunted by force.

Only if you advocate group rights and reject individual ones does it make sense to cry out for sexual solidarity in voting. Ironically, such a call reverses the political trend that secured the vote to women in the first place. Namely, the demand for inclusion in human rights. The demand by women to have their rights equally recognized so they were no longer in a separate legal category "with lunatics, idiots and criminals."

The early feminists who fought for true equality did not speak of "special interests." They spoke of human rights."

Aren't our Nation's CHILDREN deserving of a simplified and non-adversarial process of FAMILY LAW that encourages "Balance, Love and Commitment to the CHILD not to ourselves, and that of fundamentally simple "truth and basic common sense?"
Stephen Rene
What is Our Deepest Fear?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate....Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...It is in showing our light, not our darkness that most frightens others...and living in fear does not serve the World for the better, for there is nothing enlightening about shrinking back so that others won't feel insecure around us...

We were ALL meant to shine as children is not just in some of us, it is in ALL of us...and once we let our light shine it motivates others to have the courage and inspiration to do the same - for once we are liberated from own fear of the darkness, we can help to lead others into the light - as our mere presence automatically liberates and enlightens those around us...

I wish to say Thank You, Sir - for You have saved My Life.

Equal Rights are what our Founding Fathers and our US Constitution guarantees -

Equal Rights for Both Parents - & for our children - can be guaranteed - equally - as well...!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say Hi and hope that you are well.

Also, I taked to my kids about your sight, they seem really intested. My son Roy has two kids, not married, but he is a good dad, he provides for his kids and gives
them all the love and affection they need and he totally agrees with what you are doing.

It s a shame that most dads get the rear end of the bargain, I know of some great dads that want to be with their children and would do anything to be with them but mommies don't agree, why becuase they are in it for the
money, they are selfish, they are thinking of their needs and not the need of the child.

I wish parents would think more about their children and how important they are, children are our future and if we want them to grow up to be great model citizens, we first as parents need to be great model citizens - too.